Throughout the week early arrivals from this year’s ARC have been experiencing St Lucia’s warm hospitality and culture. On Thursday a special ARC Welcome Cocktail was held in their honour at the Royal St Lucian by rex resorts.
Special guests included Minister of Tourism, Lorne Theophilus; Director of Tourism, Louis Lewis, members of World Cruising Club including the Managing Director, Andrew Bishop and of course the early arrivals in the 2013 ARC.
Lewis who competed with a noisy crowd and faulty PA system welcomed everyone to St Lucia. He said: “Yachting in St Lucia is very important to us, this is why we put on this event together with the World Cruising Club. It is one of the main activities we do for the yachting sector. We’re happy to have large numbers with us this year and look forward to enjoying the few weeks you will be with us.”
He encouraged sailors to stick around and enjoy the activities in and around the Rodney Bay Marina and also St Lucia to see what we have to offer.
Bishop attempted to quiet the deafening crowd but to no avail. A barely audible PA system made things worse. St Lucia Tourist Board Public Relations Manager, John Emmanuel also tried his best. He went as far as to guarantee $1 million courtesy of IGY Rodney Bay Marina, to whoever listened during the evening. Needless to say his announcement fell on deaf ears.
The audience toned down just slightly when the Minister of Tourism approached the microphone. Theophilus was in no mood to compete with the noise. In a speech which was short and sweet, he welcomed everyone and encouraged them to enjoy themselves and ‘drink, drink, drink’, which they certainly did that evening with complimentary rum and beer.
Bishop who had the final word thanked everyone for coming to the ARC Welcome Cocktail and commented on this year’s event.
“He said: “It is quite unusual because we only have 38 boats with us tonight, which is a low number considering last year we had just over 100 boats at last year’s party. This year is going to be characterized by the record being broken by Cara taking eight hours off the course record.”
Bishop referred to the ARC as being predominantly slow this year due to difficult weather conditions, and made special mention of the 185 or so boats which are presently out at sea and will be arriving here the next few days.